Conservative MP protests Trudeau’s carbon tax in front of Sheehan’s office

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Scott Aitchison one of several MPs holding similar events in northern Ontario ridings; Liberal MP Sheehan says Poilievre ‘simply not telling the truth’ about carbon tax

Conservative Party of Canada MP Scott Aitchison, representing the riding of Parry Sound – Muskoka, held a media availability outside Sault Liberal MP Terry Sheehan’s constituency office at 369 Queen St. E. early Friday afternoon as part of Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre’s “Axe the Tax” campaign.

Aitchison, Shadow Minister for Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, is one of several Conservative MPs holding similar gatherings outside the offices of northern Ontario Liberal MPs in protest of the Liberal government’s carbon tax.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in October that the government would exempt heating oil from the carbon tax for three years, a move that will especially benefit Atlantic Canada.

“We need to make sure that we do that for all Canadians,” Aitchison said.

“Canadians can’t afford to heat their homes and put food on the table. In northern Ontario it gets just as cold as it does in eastern Canada and so we need to make sure that where there are Liberal Members of Parliament that they get the courage to vote for our motion, a Conservative motion coming up on Monday where we will ask the government to pause the carbon tax on all forms of home heating fuel for three years.”

“We realize we don’t agree on carbon taxes but pause it for all Canadians who are struggling to put food on the table and keep their homes warm until the next election. We can have an election on carbon taxes,” Aitchison said, adding he is aware that usage of food banks in Sault Ste. Marie is up.

Conservative MPs have made similar statements outside Liberal MP offices in Sudbury, Thunder Bay and North Bay as well as NDP MP Charlie Angus’ office in Timmins.

While not in a formal coalition, the federal NDP currently works with the Liberal minority government in a political agreement made in 2022.

The carbon tax, introduced by the Liberal government in 2019, is designed to encourage people and businesses to burn less fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas or gasoline and switch to greener forms of energy.

Those who use less fossil fuels pay less tax and rebates are available.

Residents in most Canadian provinces and territories are included in the tax and rebates.

MP Sheehan, in a statement released after Aitchison’s visit, wrote “Pierre Poilievre and the Conservatives have been misleading Canadians. They’re simply not telling the truth.”

“Our government is doubling the rural community top-up to the Climate Rebate across Canada, including the Sault and area. Our government is temporarily pausing the price on pollution on home heating oil everywhere in the country, so people can make the change to cleaner solutions. Our government is providing up to $15,000 toward the cost of home heat pumps in participating provinces and territories.”

Sheehan wrote that Poilievre “is either being untruthful, or they do not know the community. Both are unacceptable.”

That hasn’t phased the Conservatives, who intend to do away with the carbon tax if they win the next federal election.

“He (Sheehan) may have announced all kinds of things but then he (Trudeau) announced a really special deal for Atlantic Canada and not the same deal for people right here in Sault Ste. Marie. Many people in Sault Ste. Marie heat their homes with natural gas. It’s a cleaner fuel than oil and yet they still have to pay the carbon tax,” Aitchison said.

“We will axe the tax. Right now we’re asking for a three year pause just like they’ve done in Atlantic Canada so that people in Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay, Timmins and all across the north have the same deal that people in Atlantic Canada have.”      

As an alternative to the carbon tax, Aitchison said “Canada has opportunities to create new energies and new tools. We should be investing in things like nuclear energy for example. This is technology that Canada is particularly good at and we’ve marketed it around the world. It’s zero carbon footprint for nuclear. We need to incentivize the private sector to create those new technologies that we can sell to the world and have a low carbon future.”

Aitchison was joined outside Sheehan’s office by about a dozen supporters, the majority of them from the Sault Ste. Marie Conservative Association.

“What this gentleman (Aitchison) just said about axing tax or taking proactive action with respect to reducing carbon emissions, it’s already occurring. At Algoma Steel the electric arc furnace is going to take out carbon emissions. Taxing hard working Canadian, blue collar workers who can barely afford to put food on their table or a gallon of gas in their vehicle is not fair and this needs to be paused,” said Conservative supporter Michael Gassi.

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